Game Of Thrones: 10 Fascinating Behind-The-Scenes Facts You Might Not Know

Based on George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Fire and Ice novels, Game of Thrones has arguably become one of the most talked about shows in recent memory ever since premiering on HBO back in 2011. However, while most of us are understandably focused firmly on what’s happening on-screen, there are a number of interesting facts, stories, and bits of trivia related to what happens on the other side of the camera. With that in mind, here at 10 fascinating behind-the-scenes facts you might not know about Game of Thrones:

  1. Everyone Hates Joffrey…

    Throughout the entire series thus far, no character has been more insufferable than the petulant man-child Joffrey Baratheon. In fact, Jack Gleeson’s portrayal of the arrogant young king was so convincing, it even managed to capture the attention of George R.R. Martin. After witnessing Gleeson’s depiction of Joffrey, the author reportedly sent Gleeson a letter that stated, “Congratulations on your marvelous performance, everyone hates you!" Coming from Martin, who created the character in the first place, I guess you could say that’s a compliment.

  2. … But Everyone Loves Jack Gleeson

    In sharp contrast to the ruthless and egotistic character he portrays on Game of Thrones, Jack Gleeson’s colleagues on the set of the show have almost unanimously described the actor as a kind and friendly person. In fact, Gleeson even struck up a close friendship with Sansa Stark actress Sophie Turner, who he routinely tortured emotionally on-screen.

  3. You Shall Not Pass The Iron Throne!

    George R.R. Martin has never shied away from the fact that his A Song of Fire and Ice novels were heavily influenced by J. R. R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy. In fact, it was after the success of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring that Martin was initially approached to license his novels into a series of films. And while Game of Thrones eventually ended up on the small screen instead, a replica of Gandalf's sword, Glamdring, from the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogies was forged inside the show’s iconic Iron Throne. The connection between the two franchises is even more fitting when you consider that Sean Bean, who played Ned Stark, also played Boromir in the first Lord of the Rings film.

  4. Sharing The Screen Time

    With all of the drama, sex, and betrayal, it’s not uncommon for fans of the series to liken Game of Thrones to an R-rated fantasy soap opera. However, unlike most soap operas, no character on Game of Thrones has appeared in every episode, and only three have appeared in every episode of a given season: Lena Headey (Cersei Lannister) and Jack Gleeson (Joffrey Baratheon) appeared in every episode of Season 1, and Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister) appeared in every episode of Seasons 2 and 5.

  5. Arya’s Kill List

    With Game of Thrones becoming a worldwide phenomenon, you can only imagine some of the bizarre requests the actors on the show receive from excited fans. In the case of Maisie Williams, who plays Arya Stark, she’s gone on the record to say that fans often ask her to recite the list of names her character always speaks before going to sleep – the names of the people in the series who have injured her or her family and whom she intends to kill. What’s more, they often ask Williams to insert their own name into the list.

  6. Bad Blood Between Cersei and Bronn

    Have you ever wondered why Lena Headey’s Cersei Lannister and Jerome Flynn’s Bronn have never had a scene with one another? Have you even noticed? Well, just in case you were curious, prior to being cast, Headey and Flynn were in a relationship that ended on such rocky terms that each had a clause inserted into their contracts stipulating that they were never to share scenes and must remain apart on set. Funnily enough, such a move doesn’t seem too far off from their respective on-screen personas.

  7. George R.R. Martin’s Absence

    When Game of Thrones first took to the air, George R.R. Martin’s intention was to write one episode for each season. However, since Season 4, Martin hasn’t been credited as a writer on the series. The reason? According to Martin, it was because he was too busy focusing on finishing the sixth book in the Song of Fire and Ice series, titled The Winds of Winter. For those who are keeping score at home, though, Season 4 ended in 2014 and three years later, we still don’t have The Winds of Winter. What gives, Martin?

  8. Daenerys’ Hair Game Is On Point

    One of the most striking features of fan-favorite character Daenerys Targaryen, of course, is her platinum blonde hair. However, it’s no secret that actress Emilia Clarke is a natural brunette, so you’d be forgiven for simply assuming she dyes her hair while filming the show. This isn’t the case though, as Daenerys’ stunning blonde locks are actually achieved by way of an elaborate wig and makeup system that takes considerable time to get into place.

  9. The Direwolves Put Dire Strains On The Budget

    Direwolves are a prominent element of Game of Thrones, appearing both as pets of the Stark children also as the sigil of House Stark, whose banner features a gray direwolf on a white field. In Season 1, showrunners used Northern Inuit dogs, a canine specifically bred for wolf-like appearance, to stand in for the direwolves on-screen. However, since direwolves are known to be much larger than normal wolves, real ones were digitally composited into scenes for subsequent seasons. This heavily strained the show’s budget and the schedule, which is why there are only a handful of scenes featuring Grey Wind (Robb Stark's wolf), Summer (Bran Stark's wolf), Shaggydog (Rickon Stark's wolf), and Ghost (Jon Snow’s wolf) after Season 1.

  10. The Dark Game Of The Knight Thrones

    While appearing on a series as world-renowned as Game of Thrones is practically a guaranteed claim to fame, several actors from the show also appeared in another global phenomenon: Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy. Jack Gleeson (Joffrey Baratheon) appeared in Batman Begins as the little boy Batman gives a piece of his tech to; Aidan Gillen (Petyr Baelish) played CIA operative Bill Wilson in The Dark Knight Rises; Richard Brake (The Night King) played Joe Chill in Batman Begins, and Burn Gorman (Karl Tanner) played Phillip Stryver in The Dark Knight Rises.

    Hopefully, you enjoyed these behind-the-scenes facts from Game of Thrones. If you know of any more, be sure to let us know in the comments section!

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